A lot of literature are available on positive mindsets but there are still many people who do not or cannot believe that if they put their thoughts and work towards their goal, they can achieve their goals. Adopting a positive mindset, a can-do attitude, is not as easy as it sounds and there are several reasons why this is so. Find out what these reasons are so that you can make it easier for yourself to think that you can, too.
Why Is it Important to Believe You Can
Theodore Roosevelt is quoted to have said, “Believe you can and you're halfway there.” If you watch interviews or speeches of successful people, many drive this message loud and clear. Of course, there are other factors like networks, opportunity, etc., that contributed to their success but one can’t deny that a belief in the possibility of success was crucial in achieving their goals. After all, why work hard if you know you will fail anyway? Why waste time if you can’t achieve something?
Over and over again, people like Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Walt Disney, and Thomas Edison have worked against the common notion that success comes naturally to those talented. They worked hard and honed their skills. Before they worked hard, their belief in their dreams, themselves, have started them off to towards their climb to success.
Working hard is something everyone can do, but it is not something everyone wants to do. However, some people who are willing to work hard still could not get themselves to believe that they can achieve great success if they put their minds to it. And why is that?
What makes it hard for many to believe they can, if they put their minds to it?
1. The Glorification of Talent
The society has a tendency to attribute success to talents more than hardwork. As a result, majority of the population have a fixed mindset, thinking that if others can, it’s because they are different than himself. He, even if he works hard, already thinks he won’t succeed because he ‘doesn’t have talent.’ In his mind play the words, ‘I can’t,’ rather than ‘I can.’
If you could collect posters or clippings of successful athletes, musicians, scientists, and even businessmen, I bet that you would find that their success is often portrayed as a result of their talent, or that their display of certain skills is attributed to talent. If you hear talks around school, most of the students who have demonstrated something impressive are more often than not, credited as being talented. The world has a predisposition to glorify talent.
Talent is further glorified by suggesting that it is accorded to a select few. Yes, Mozart produced masterpieces. But some people are now proposing that it was not talent that got him where he is today. It was about his focused and intense musical training that honed his music skills. But how many of us have heard of the hardworking Mozart? Literature and summaries often depict a seemingly natural genius.
As a result, one readily thinks that the main factor why people succeeded was because of talent. And if he happens not to show signs of talent, then he has no reason to believe that he can be as successful.
2. Misleading Belief that Working Smart and Working Hard are Mutually Exclusive
The fad now is about working smart - work in less time. The reason someone probably works hard is that he is not smart enough. Again, this ‘smartness’ can be considered as talent. Similar to the first point, this only makes people think that it’s either they are smart or not. What’s the point of working hard? If there is no point in working hard, why bother thinking you can improve yourself?
However, the results of someone’s work is about finding a ‘smarter’ way and working hard. The hard work may have come from years of experience, or years of study. The skill to work ‘smarter’ may actually be a result of many years of hardwork that only culminates in that particular time.
Sadly, the people who have become ‘smart’ through their years of experience tend to forget that they had to take time and work hard to get those skills, thus, becoming impatient with people who are learning. Unintentionally, ‘smart’ workers might send a message to hardworkers that they are not working ‘smart’. (In fact, I would say that it is smart to work hard and learn what you need to learn). Eventually, those people learning will start comparing themselves to those experts and if they could not show improvements in a short period of time, they would start doubting if they can actually improve.
3. The Preference for ‘Quick’ and ‘Instant’
To obtain and polish a new skill to impressive levels may take a long time, and ample time is not a resource many people in our society are given. Rather than saying, ‘I can, given enough time,’ many would rather say, ‘I can’t,’ as they already know that they will not be given any time anyway.
4. Discouraging Reactions to ‘Failures’
The whole world is waiting for someone to fail. Media feasts on failures of those who embarked on ‘lofty’ dreams. If someone who was able to pluck enough courage to say that he could do what he was not able to do before, he still has to gain courage to deal with what people will say once he fails, or the courage to ignore what others say. This unwelcome treatment to ‘failures’ deter many people from even dreaming of something greater.
Think of how encouraging it would be if your community’s reaction to your ideas would be like those parents who are teaching their babies how to walk. Along the way, you see smiles, you get help with standing up. And even if you fall down, they encourage you to try again. If this was the reaction of people around you, wouldn’t it make it easier for you to dare say, ‘I can?’
Yes, you can.
No matter how difficult it is for you to think you can, start believing. And start working hard towards your goal. You’ll be surprised because one day, you’ll tell others that you did it.
The list above are some of the major demotivating scenarios you might face. Use the list above to prepare yourself, and don’t use the list to make an excuse.
The sure way to miss success is if you don’t try. And you will hesitate to try if you think you can’t win.
But you can. So go and think you can.
Here are the books I recommend to read to inspire you tho have a positive mindset and start thinking that you can!
We are meant for greatness. While we are alive, we are meant to grow and grow so that in our growth, we can make this world a better place, we can make someone's life a better life.